Does a Brain Injury Qualify for Disability?

Navigating the intersection of law and medicine, we aim to shed light on the complexities surrounding brain injuries and the eligibility criteria for disability benefits.

As seasoned legal professionals who passionately champion the rights of those facing life-altering challenges, we at the Brain Injury Law Center bring a wealth of experience to this discussion. Join us on a journey through the intricate legal landscape that defines whether a brain injury constitutes a qualifying condition for disability benefits.

Our goal is not only to provide insightful information but also to empower individuals and their families with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions during challenging times. Whether you’re seeking answers for yourself, a loved one, or you simply want to stay informed on legal matters, this blog is your go-to resource for comprehensive and accessible legal insights.

Our founding attorney Stephen M. Smith has secured a record-breaking settlement for a brain injury lawsuit — $12+ million after a slip and fall injury. Should you need specific legal advice or personalized representation, we encourage you to reach out to us at (757) 244-7000 as soon as possible. We are here to provide the help you deserve.

Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Qualify for Disability?

Traumatic brain injuries can have profound and lasting impacts on individuals, affecting not only their physical well-being but also their cognitive and emotional functioning. For many, this means a long-term or life-long disability that requires help and support. The next question patients and families usually have is what support benefits they may qualify for. 

Let’s break down the intersecting layers of traumatic brain injuries and disability claims:

What Is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex medical condition that results from a sudden trauma or blow to the head, causing damage to the brain. TBIs can range from mild to severe and may lead to a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.

Is a Traumatic Brain Injury a Disability Medically?

Whether a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered a disability medically depends on the severity and the lasting impact of the injury on an individual’s ability to perform essential life activities. Not all TBIs result in a disability, and the classification can vary from case to case. 

Some key points for a medical evaluation include:

  • Severity of the TBI: TBIs are often categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. Mild TBIs, such as concussions, may not always lead to long-term disability, while severe TBIs can result in significant impairments.
  • Functional Impairments: A TBI can cause various functional impairments, affecting cognitive, physical, and emotional abilities. Disabilities arising from TBIs may include difficulties with memory, concentration, motor skills, speech, and emotional regulation.
  • Duration of Impairments: Some individuals may experience temporary impairments after a TBI, while others may face long-term or permanent challenges. If the impairments persist and significantly impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities, it may be considered a disability.

It’s essential for individuals who have experienced a TBI to consult with medical professionals and legal experts to assess the specific circumstances of their case. A comprehensive evaluation can help determine the medical and legal implications of a traumatic brain injury and whether it qualifies as a disability in a given context.

Is a TBI a Disability for Social Security Support?

A traumatic brain injury can qualify as a disability for Social Security support in the United States. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits you may qualify for.

Important factors that may help decide eligibility include:

  • Professional Medical Diagnosis: A medical diagnosis plays a crucial role in determining whether a TBI qualifies as a disability. Healthcare professionals assess the extent of the injury, its impact on functioning, and the expected prognosis.
  • Legal Arguments: From a legal standpoint, whether a TBI is considered a disability depends on the jurisdiction and the specific criteria outlined in disability laws. Legal definitions and eligibility criteria for disability benefits can vary, so it’s important to consult the relevant laws in the applicable jurisdiction.
  • Eligibility for Disability Benefits: In many cases, individuals with disabilities resulting from TBIs may be eligible for disability benefits. This may include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on the person’s work history, income, and other factors.

Individuals with a TBI who are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits should seek guidance from a qualified attorney or disability advocate. These professionals can help navigate the application process, gather the necessary medical evidence, and present a strong case to the SSA. 

In addition to serving as a disability advocate, your personal injury lawyer with experience in brain injury cases can help you file a claim for compensation if your TBI was the result of negligence. Workplace injuries, car accidents, and slip and fall injuries may be eligible for disability support, a personal injury insurance claim, or a lawsuit.
The funds from such a lawsuit can help supplement your income and provide financial stability. Contact the Brain Injury Law Center at (757) 244-7000 to discuss your legal options.

How to Get On Disability for Brain Injury

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a TBI, the following conditions generally need to be met:

  • Severity of Impairment: The TBI must be severe enough to result in significant functional limitations. The SSA evaluates the severity of the impairment based on medical evidence, including documentation from healthcare professionals.
  • Duration of Disability: The disability must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or be expected to result in death.
  • Inability to Work: The TBI must render the individual unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), which refers to work that provides a certain level of income. The SSA considers both the individual’s current work capacity and their ability to adjust to other types of work.

To support a disability claim, comprehensive medical evidence is crucial. This includes medical records, diagnostic tests, treatment history, and statements from healthcare professionals regarding the impact of the TBI on the individual’s ability to function.

It’s important to note that the SSA has a specific listing for neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injuries, in its “Blue Book” of disability impairments. Meeting the criteria outlined in this listing can significantly strengthen a disability claim.

The requirements for securing disability benefits are complex — contact a lawyer for assistance.

Contact the Brain Injury Law Center

Securing disability benefits for a traumatic brain injury is a task that requires careful consideration, documentation, and often professional guidance. Understanding the specific criteria set by the Social Security Administration, gathering comprehensive medical evidence, and presenting a compelling case are pivotal steps in this process.

At the Brain Injury Law Center, we recognize the challenges individuals face when seeking disability support for traumatic brain injuries. Our commitment is not only to provide legal insights but also to empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate this complex terrain. Thanks to our efforts and dedication, we have a proven track record of substantial case results for patients and families recovering after brain injuries.

If you or a loved one is grappling with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury and considering a disability claim or lawsuit, we urge you to reach out by calling (757) 244-7000 for personalized legal guidance from the Brain Injury Law Center. 

Related Resources

If you found this brain injury and disability content helpful, please view the related topics below:

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